What is it that makes an activity ‘Montessori’? The primary goal of the Montessori philosophy is: “Help me to do it myself.” This is why Montessori activities promote self-sufficiency, independence, critical thinking, and fine motor development. Most importantly, Montessori activities are tailored to children’s interests and developmental needs.
1. Follow the Child
Montessori activities are self-motivated. Each child is free to follow their interests, choose their own work, and progress at their own pace. As Doctor Maria Montessori stated: “I have studied the child. I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it and that is what is called the Montessori method.”
2. Control of Error
Montessori materials are designed with a control of error which makes them auto-instructional. This means that the child is able to discover and correct their own errors without adult intervention. The Montessori materials encourage independence, freedom of choice, and confidence . Children achieve the outcome of the materials through repetition and practice.
3. Sensory Exploration
Maria Montessori discovered that children learn best when their senses are engaged in a learning activity. The child, to Montessori, is a “sensorial explorer”.
4. Learn By Doing
Children learn by doing. Montessori education introduces complex and abstract concepts through hands-on activities that involve sensory based learning materials.
5. Isolated Skills & Concepts
Montessori activities focus on developing one skill or concept by breaking it down into simple steps. Each step must be completed before the outcome of the activity can be achieved.
The Montessori classroom is a prepared environment that invites interest and activity. Children are encouraged to explore at will, experience their own abilities, and learn to do things for themselves.
The Montessori work cycle provides children with an uninterrupted opportunity to work with the Montessori materials, repeat activities at will, and develop deep concentration.
8. Intrinsic Motivation
Motivation in a Montessori classroom is not focused on punishments or rewards. Children engage in learning activities because they satisfy their innate desire to understand their world.